BOSTON (CBS) — It’s never wise to give the Patriots bulletin board material. Just ask Buffalo’s Dion Dawkins.
The Bills tackle threw some shade at the Patriots’ dominant defense ahead of their Week 4 matchup, pointing out that the Patriots had yet to play the Bills.
“It’s really all about us. We don’t care what they’ve done the games before because they haven’t played us yet,” Dawkins said earlier this week. “Once they play us, and if it doesn’t change, then that’s when ya’ll could start talking.”
That quote is pretty harmless, but it was certainly a little trash talk, given the Patriots D hadn’t allowed an offensive touchdown at that point. Word got back to the Patriots defense during the week, and they used it as fuel throughout Sunday’s 16-10 victory.
It was still on Kyle Van Noy’s mind in the locker room, when the linebacker was asked about his forced fumble during the win.
“Just wanted to make sure Dawkins knew who we were,” Van Noy said with a smile. “If someone said they didn’t know who you are after what we’ve been doing, would you be like, ‘What have you been watching?'”
Van Noy played coy when he asked if he used Dawkins’ chatter as motivation.
“Just smile. Look at the score and what we did on defense,” he said.
Patriots safety Devin McCourty was much more open about Dawkins’ comments after the game.
“We heard it as a defense,” said McCourty. “We got an opportunity to play against them today. We got a win. That’s what it’s about. Everybody that likes competing, you hear it. You want to play to it.”
The New England defense did give up their first touchdown of the year, but they were a force again on Sunday, coming down with four interceptions and five sacks in the victory. Van Noy had another big game, finishing with a pair of sacks, eight tackles, and two forced fumbles. He also put the hit on quarterback Matt Barkley that led to the game-sealing interception by Jamie Collins.
Someday, teams will learn not to give the Patriots any bulletin board material.